Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Weekly Review

Tokyo Electric Power Co. arrested an unexpected rise in temperature at Fukushima Daiichi unit 2 this week and also scheduled the shutdown of the company's last operating reactor.

Recent developments at the nuclear plant blacked out by the earthquake and tsunami last March include:

Fukushima parking lot.Unit 2 Temperature Falls

Following pipe repair and concurrent adjustments to cooling water at the unit 2 reactor, temperature readings inside began rising from 45 C after Jan. 26. Readings varied among gauges placed at different locations in the reactor pressure vessel, with a TEPCO spokesman telling Bloomberg that one reached 72.2 C Monday morning. TEPCO increased the volume of water injected into the reactor by about a third and also injected boron Tuesday as a precaution. No increase in Xenon has been detected that would suggest recriticality. A TEPCO release placed the RPV temperature at 66.8 C as of Thursday morning.

Last TEPCO Reactor Scheduled to Go Offline

Unit 6 at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant will shut down for maintenance March 26, TEPCO announced Thursday, leaving the company with none of its 17 reactors in service. Kyodo reported TEPCO hopes to restart reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa in 2013 at the earliest. As with plants across the country, the ability of the units to gain local government approval to restart remains an open question. The Daily Yomiuri quoted unnamed officials as saying government plans called for the restart of two reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Ohi plant by the end of April, but the country’s trade minister later disavowed the report. Unless units idled over the last year for inspections and maintenance are restarted, all 54 of Japan’s reactors will be offline in April.

Tsunami Likely Higher Than First Thought

The first survey of its kind in Fukushima Prefecture since the accident suggests the tsunami that hit the plant on March 11, 2011, was even taller than originally thought. The waves that topped the plant’s defenses were originally estimated at 15 meters high. The Daily Yomiuri reported Thursday that researchers from the University of Tokyo found evidence the waves near Fukushima may have topped that. At one point 8 kilometers south of the plant, researchers said waves reached 21.1 meters high.

Photo: Workers clear dust, oil and debris from a parking lot at Fukushima Dec. 16 for dose reduction. Source: TEPCO

Anonymous comments will be moderated. Join for free and post now! 

  • Anonymous

    From the very beginning of this disaster there are so many unexpected mishap took place in fukushima plant and Tepco and or government appeared to be complete unable to deal with those mishaps. Even then they are not too willing to stop nuclear operation in Japan. Perhaps they need more disasters to learn the lesson properly.

    I recently came across these atmpospheric simulations,  produced an American independent organization, that indicate TEPCO vastly under-reported radionuclide emissions from the Fukushima Plant.



    I’ve suspected for some time that the publicly released emissions data had been manipulated - If the models are correct I suppose this re enforces my hunch.  Is there anyone here that can help us explain the implications of this model?